Sunday, February 8, 2009

New tools, new displays, new ideas, and the EHCC Aloha Sunday + market

I'll start with the East Hawaii cultural Center's Aloha Sunday, Farmer's Market and Craft Fair. I still haven't formally signed up yet, and I still have some work to do for it, whether I'll make it there or not. I said I was going to help with the publicity and I'm determined to do so too. It's next week Sunday, at the East Hawaii Cultural Center (downtown Hilo), and the performers will be Diane Aki, Ben Kaili, Sean Robbins, Alu Like (hula with Haunani) and John Keawe. If I make it (watch his space) I'll be bringing some seedlings/plants: clove, lilikoi, bell pepper, coffee, and quite possibly others, some hapuu growing cuttings, what I can fit in the truck in addition to the tables and the hand truck, as well as my jewelry and beads (though I may leave some of the beads in the truck). There is probably still space available, have to have a Hawaiian theme for the craft fair, and the farmer's market is strictly locally grown only (but doesn't have to be native plants). If you're interested, call the EHCC, they are on the 'net. (To some extent that's "we", but please don't call or email me about it).

As tools go:
Today, after again having 'stuck beads', I went and got myself a rivet tool, and I got the stuck beads off their mandrels before I paid for the rivet tool (the guy at Home Depot was quite intrigued by what I was doing). And I must say I'm rather grateful that the subject just came up at Lampwork Etc., otherwise I wouldn't have known and gone on getting them off with a hammer (with a rag on top of the beads, but this is much easier). That's one new tool. I also finally (a while ago) got myself a proper mount for the torch, makes it much easier to get it on the table and back off. I ordered myself a kiln to anneal the beads, impatiently waiting for that, as well as a larger size mandrel to make large hole beads, and for Hilo Propane's shipment of connectors to arrive so that they can make me a hose to connect a bulk tank to my HotHead torch (those guys know their stuff, and their repeat customers). I torch outside, so I'm comfortable with a propane tank (we use those for cooking anyway), but I'm rather uncomfortable with a propane tank (small tank for those who are local, 5 gallon) right by my feet when I have a propane flame only a foot away (OK, propane scares me as it should and I have been around it for long enough to know what I can deal with and what I don't want to deal with. I don't want a tank by my feet.).

One of the words that came up time and again at the EHCC craft fair committee meeting was "honu" (those who aren't local, look that up. Google knows what a honu is.), and I decided one way or another I'm going to make honu beads. First will be to attempt a honu imprint. I have wire honu made up for that, and tested that I can make a bead that's flat and almost big enough for that imprint without a kiln. Working on small tanks in 100% humidity and not very warm temperatures I can make about 1-2 beads before my tank gets really wet and the pressure goes down.

As displays go, my old foam displays are still on, but the one with the kukui nut and the glass bead earrings is already gone and replaced by wire screen in real life. I made a copper wire display that I had intended for necklaces, but it's only good for earrings weight wise, and I'll sell it if anybody wants it (it's 16 gauge copper wire with the loops wrapped in 24 gauge. It collapses flat with only a bit of bending). I got more wire screens today and will convert all or almost all of my displays to that. I'll save the display that the Job's Tears earrings are on, but I'm not going to use it for the time being. I'll reuse the foam boards that already cost me 2 necklaces where the stones broke (long pieces) when it got blown over for road advertising signs. I am going to donate those to EHCC.

The necklace and earring set at the top consists of mother of pearl fan sets, 4mm jet black and 3mm Montana AB Swarovski crystals and twisted square Sterling silver liquid silver (1x4mm). The hoops are plated memory wire, the necklace is strung on SoftFlex and crimped with sterling silver crimp tubes. The split rings to attach the clasp are plated, the clasp is base metal. Price as is is $40.-, with modifications to all sterling silver for the necklace $45.- (there is no such thing as sterling silver memory wire - if there was I'd buy it, just for making earrings.).

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